Prior to the Continuing Conversation on Race and White Privilege at the Princeton Public Library ( 65 Witherspoon St.) on Monday, August 1, there will be a social hour with light refreshments starting at 6:15 pm for attendees to meet, eat, and talk informally.
The focus of this month’s discussion are these questions: What are the advantages of self-awareness and value people receive from living a life of diversity and inclusion? and How do we shift behaviors? The questions derive from the following reflection written by Not in Our Town board member, Simona Brickers:
“What are the advantages of self-awareness and value white people receive from living a life of diversity and inclusion? Is living a diverse life difficult and, if so, why? Has learning about diversity and inclusion built a stronger awareness of personal choices? Has awareness of inclusion influenced the choice of places you shop? Or how you conduct business? How do you feel about black people now? How has living a diverse life increased the quality of your life?
I’ve learned a great deal over the last year and a half. On Sunday I attended church. I was looking forward to the service. Sitting there I looked around to see the sea of white faces. Many times I’ve sat in this church at 9:30 am, but this time it felt different. Previously, I’d realized that I was one of maybe two black people or the only black person, but this time I felt an emptiness. I realized in that moment that reaching people’s hearts may mean only opening them up to see me, but may not change anything in their world. So, I sat there asking myself about what influences me to change my habits? What is necessary in my life for me to create a different perspective, that pushes me in a different direction?
For one thing, it is an active effort. It means asserting myself to shift my behavior until my mind accepts the adjustment. Trust is a huge factor and feeling safe; I need to know that this work benefits the quality of my life. The question I am pondering is how do we shift behaviors?”
Come to the library on Monday evening and add your thoughts on this subject.